How to Select the Best Pharmacist Tech School Near Huntsville Alabama
Having decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near HuntsvilleAL, you might be pondering how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important concerns when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an accepted Huntsville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacist Technician Available Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Huntsville AL pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges
Prior to choosing a pharmacist technician online training program, it's important to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Huntsville pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Huntsville AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the right solution for you.
Enroll in the Right Huntsville Pharmacy Technician School
Getting the ideal pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. With the right training and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Huntsville Alabama.